Veolia makes first foray into solar power on kibbutzim

The French firm will also upgrade water and power infrastructures on the kibbutzim.

Veolia Environnement SA (NYSE: VE; Euronext: VIE) unit Veolia Environmental Services Israel Ltd. has signed a contract with the Kibbutz Movement to build photovoltaic power plants on kibbutzim and jointly upgrade their water systems and electricity grids. This is the company's first foray into solar energy.

Sources inform ''Globes'' that Veolia wants to acquire an Israeli solar energy systems installation company. The company is participating in the tenders to build and operate photovoltaic and thermosolar power stations at Ashelim, at an estimated investment of $700-800 million.

Veolia was unavailable for comment.

The initiative regarding kibbutzim's water systems and electricity grids is intended to fix their problems caused by not being well maintained and being wasteful. For example, kibbutzim use central water heating systems that waste energy and need to be made more efficient and cost effective.

Veolia Israel will import the solar energy technology for the projects. The company will initially install solar energy system of up to 50 kilowatts, in line with current regulations. These relatively small systems will supplement, but not replace, the kibbutzim's current power sources.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on March 4, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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